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Rough Trade

Men in Love and at War

eXtasy Books

Heat Rating: SEXTREME
Word Count: 35,672
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Berkeley is set for life after providing his Royal Services and decides to travel to London to visit his friends and family to cheer him up. There he has a raunchy chance encounter with a stranger on a train who he meets again in unsuspected circumstances. In between all the wild sexual antics, Leonard takes Berkeley back in time to a spiritual world of religious communes, demons, exorcisms, and Ouija boards that proves to be enlightening, unnerving, but most worryingly, life threatening.

When Berkeley returns to Tenerife to discover his gardener has had an accident, he enlists the help of a local beggar, a Moroccan man called Mohammed, to service his garden and him. The sadness and mystery of Mohammed’s past gradually unfolds, and when Berkeley tries to do the right thing to help him, he is confronted with the reality of Mohammed’s dark and chilling past.

Two different men spell double trouble for Berkeley, but he has never shied away from a challenge—or a gorgeous man—and he’s not about to now.

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Excerpt

Berkeley was set for life. He had all the money he could possibly wish for after providing his Royal Services and being paid handsomely for bringing together the transport conglomerate with Sebastian involving a futuristic technology that would change the future of the transport industry forever. All he lacked in his life was a hobby, or pastime to fill up his days and keep his mind active.

After speaking to his sister Dawn on the phone, Berkeley toyed with the idea of going back to his hometown of London to see his family and friends who he hadn’t seen for a long time and missed. He’d also seen an advert on the internet promoting a three-day seminar on psychology at King’s College in London that he thought might be worth attending. He’d been thinking about dipping his toe into the subject, to find out a bit more about himself and how his experiences to date had affected him, or how they might affect him in the future. He thought it’d be a great way to find out if it was a subject he was really interested in or not.

After speaking to a few of his close friends, who were elated with the idea of seeing him, his mind was made up, and he booked his flight and made arrangements for the gardener to visit during his stay to care for the gardens in his villa and clean the swimming pool.

When Berkeley arrived at Gatwick airport, he was slightly dazed and sad, as the memories of when he’d visited London to provide his services for Frederick and the trauma that followed flashed through his mind. He wanted to kick himself for being so foolish and almost falling for Frederick when in reality he had an ulterior motive and mission in mind. As he waited for his luggage, flashbacks of being held hostage in the house with the burly and aggressive bodyguard and CEO of the transport conglomerate plagued his mind, so he did his best to focus on the purpose of his visit and think about his family and friends.

Berkeley was relieved when the conveyor belt started moving and the cases started emerging, as it provided him with another distraction from his nightmarish thoughts. Much to his surprise, but to his secret relief, his suitcase was the fourth to appear, so he knew he wouldn’t have to hang around in baggage reclaim for long and could quickly make his way through customs. The sooner he got to see his sister the better, so he could put his awful thoughts and memories behind him.

Although his Spanish mobile worked, he had no Wi-Fi coverage, so he couldn’t use Whatsapp or make a call. Thankfully, Dawn sent him a message via messenger saying they would meet him at the pick-up point. Not knowing where the pick-up point was, Berkeley asked one of the customs officers where it was, and before telling him, he asked Berkeley where he’d come from. When Berkeley told him he’d arrived from Tenerife, the customs officer politely asked Berkeley if he could check his bags. Given Berkeley had nothing to hide, he agreed without any resistance. Once the customs officer saw that Berkeley didn’t have a suitcase full of cheap cigarettes, he explained where the pick-up point was and let him pass through customs.

Even though he’d been given directions to the pick-up point when he arrived, Dawn wasn’t there, so he sent her a message telling her that he was there waiting for her. She sent a message back saying they were on the fifth floor of the car park. Berkeley took the lift to the fifth floor, but when he came out of the lift, there was still no sign of Dawn. Confused, he sent Dawn another message. She responded saying they were in the blue car park. Berkeley had no idea what car park he was in, so he approached what looked like a chauffeur waiting for a client in a black BMW to ask where he was and where the blue car park was. He explained that Berkeley was in the orange car park and would have to go back down to the second floor and pass through the red car park before he reached the blue car park.

Berkeley followed his instructions, and as he was walking through the red car park, he wished he’d just arranged for his sister to meet him in a chauffeur driven car.

When he finally arrived at the fifth floor of the blue car park, he was relieved to see that his sister, along with his nephew, Jason, and great-niece, Leah, were waiting for him.

Dawn welcomed him with open arms and gave him a brotherly hug. During the ride back to East London, Berkeley and Dawn sat in the back of the car and shared a lengthy conversation about what had happened to Berkeley while he was working for Royal Service. Berkeley had kept her informed through regular telephone conversations, but Berkeley had held back telling her about being lured into a trap, beaten, and having to resort to using Sebastian’s new transport technology to escape being held hostage and possibly being tortured more.

Dawn grabbed hold of Berkeley’s forearm and gasped. “I’m bloody glad you didn’t tell me that when we spoke on the phone. I’d have gone to the bloody house with the kids and a few other heavies and beaten the crap out of them! In fact, I would have been so bloody annoyed, I probably wouldn’t have needed any help because I’d have taken a bloody hammer with me and nailed them both to the frigging wall.”

Berkeley laughed out loud and took Dawn’s hand. “You do make me laugh so much. The funny thing is, I know you would have.”

“Yeah. I’d have made a lovely piece of artwork out of the two of them.”

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